Meaning in the traditional Chinese house and garden
Author(s)Li, Tao, M.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Ronald B. Lewcock.
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The thesis deals with the various levels of meanings of the Chinese house and garden, and how the meanings operated in the context of traditional daily life. It is approached from the point of view of meaning in the context of daily life, using the activities and events of daily life described in The Dream of the Red Chamber as examples. An eighteenth century masterpiece, the book is regarded as authentically representing the life of the upper class of its time. In the book, the author uses the garden and house proper as the settings two different worlds of daily life activities of a family. The world in the house represents Confusian order, conforming with the social order, and that of the garden a poetic entity dominated by the Taoist ideal. The house was the microcosm of society, and the garden the microcosm of the universe. Reading beyond this level, we find one was built upon the demand of control over the individual; the other upon the desire of the individual for relief from tight control. The two worlds in the home environment represented the world of men and the world of nature. In the world of the house, i. e. the world of men, the individual had to deal with all kinds of human relationships, by following the social rules that were designed to sustain the hierarchical structure of the society. In the world of the garden, i.e. the world of the nature, the individual became one with the universe, by following the ultimate standards of Tao.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1992.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 73-75).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology